Last man standing

“The United States emerged from World War II with extraordinary advantages that would ensure prosperity for decades: an intact, thriving industrial base; a population relatively unscarred by war; cheap energy; two-thirds of the world’s gold supply; and great optimism. As the major power in western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific, possessing both atomic weapons and a Navy and Air Force of unequaled might, the United States was ready to exploit what the historian H. P. Willmott described as ‘the end of the period of European supremacy in the world that had existed for four centuries.’ If the war had dispelled American isolationism, it also encouraged American exceptionalism, as well as a penchant for military solutions and a self-regard that led some to label their epoch ‘the American century.’ ‘Power,’ as John Adams had written, ‘always thinks it has a great soul.’ ” – Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light

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